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Save space in your suitcase with these clever tips

Packing for even a short trip can be stressful. We never know what we’re going to need when we’re away from home for several days, so we tend to overpack just in case. If you love to overprepare while packing, you’ll be glad to know you may not need to make suitcase-packing sacrifices on your next trip, as long as you are armed with some great packing hacks. Save space in your suitcase with some of our favorite packing tips.

Open suitcase with clothing inside
Craig Adderley/Pexels

Roll your clothes instead of folding them

If you’re trying to learn how to pack bulky clothing in your suitcase, then this hack can save you tons of space in your bag! Instead of folding up your clothes in the standard way, try rolling your clothes instead. With a pair of jeans, for example, fold them in half like you normally would, but then start at the waist and wrap them up in a rolling motion until they are a tight and compact tube.

Rolling your clothes can benefit you in a few different ways. First, it saves more space than folding because it leaves no gaps or unused crannies that you often get when stacking up folded clothes in your suitcase. Rolling your clothes also helps prevent wrinkles and creases on your clothes while they are packed up in your bag.

Downgrade to travel-size toiletries

It’s tempting to just bring the whole bottle of shampoo for your five-night getaway, but you really don’t need all of your full-sized toiletries and cosmetics. Instead of packing these large and bulky items, measure out a handful of uses into a travel-size bottle or jar. You can cut down to a fraction of the space needed for your toiletries and even be TSA-approved for carry-on luggage.

When it comes to travel-size containers, there are a few options. For items that you’ll use more of, like shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion, use the slightly larger tubular travel-size bottles. For items like face cream, foundation, and makeup primer, however, these Travel Container Jar Pots are tiny, stackable, and the perfect size for three to five uses.

Pack socks and underwear inside your shoes

While your underwear and socks don’t take up too much space individually, piling up a week’s worth can get a bit bulky in your bag. Since your shoes will be empty in transit anyways, a great trick for maximizing space is to crunch these smaller items inside of them. Pack them tightly into any shoes you’re going to load into your bag and free up that space your delicates would have taken up.

Consider doing a load of wash during your trip

It may seem like an odd suggestion, but why not do a load of wash on vacation? Even if you won’t have access to a washing machine, you can hand-wash several items in the bathroom sink and hang them up to dry overnight. While you probably don’t want to have multiple days of vacation pictures with the same outfit on, you can save loads of space in your suitcase by washing and re-wearing a few staple items like undershirts and jeans. Trade the space of four or five clothing items with just one travel-size laundry detergent and a small clothesline.

Choose the right suitcase

Using the right suitcase for your particular packing needs is essential to fitting everything you need in your bag. While you’ll want a hard-shelled suitcase if you’re packing fragile items, most of the time these tough and durable suitcases have less pockets and lower stretching capabilities. Alternatively, a softer-material suitcase, duffel bag, or even a large backpack is malleable and allows you to pack items in it tightly for more overall space.

When you’re getting ready to hit the road, you want to be confident that you have absolutely everything you need. However, if you want to maximize the space in your suitcase or even downgrade to a carry-on bag for your next trip, these packing tips can help. You’ll save enough space in your bag to load it up with all the souvenirs your heart desires.